It's Never Enough, Is It?
Guest review by Matt
Francisco's Burgess Shale would like you to believe that they sound
like such greats as R.E.M., Talking Heads and Radiohead. What an
exciting statement (on their one-sheet), as the world could use
another Reckoning or Murmur right now.
Unfortunately, the comparison
doesn't hold up. Burgess Shale sounds nothing like those beloved
alternative-rock gods. Instead, they sound arty and over-intellectual
at the expense of good songwriting. The songs are simply not there.
Don't get me wrong, there are songs, 17 of them in fact, but don't
be surprised if you can't make it past the fifth cut.
Burgess Shale takes pride
in its lyrics, which are critical of modern-day society and all
that it involves. With song titles such as "No Duh," "Butt
Crack Blues," and "Stupidity," they take aim at the
convenience and oftentimes ridiculousness of American culture. But
their dissonant music, monotone vocals, off-key harmonies and just
plain silliness assures Burgess Shale's place right square in the
middle of that ridiculousness.
Posted Dec. 5,
2003. Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
and over-intellectual at the expense of good songwriting."
Reminded me both
in music and spirit (as well as Phil Cottrell's vocals) of
Stan Ridgeway, but without Ridgeway's remarkable hooks, instrumentation
and gorgeous production. Muddy and confusing, melodies oftentimes
were lost in the compositions, which tried to do too much
with too little.